Taking strategy seriously: responsibility and reform for an important social practice

Richard Whittington*, Paula Jarzabkowski, Michael Mayer, Eléonore Mounoud, Janine Nahapiet, Linda Rouleau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Strategy is a pervasive and consequential practice in most Western societies. We respond to strategy's importance by drawing an initial map of strategy as an organizational field that embraces not just firms, but consultancies, business schools, the state and financial institutions. Using the example of Enron, we show how the strategy field is prone to manipulations in which other actors in the field can easily become entrapped, with grave consequences. Given these consequences, we argue that it is time to take strategy seriously in three senses: undertaking systematic research on the field itself; developing appropriate responses to recent failures in the field; and building more heedful interrelationships between actors within the field, particularly between business schools and practitioners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-409
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Management Inquiry
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003

Keywords

  • enron
  • organizational field
  • social responsibility
  • strategy discourse

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    Whittington, R., Jarzabkowski, P., Mayer, M., Mounoud, E., Nahapiet, J., & Rouleau, L. (2003). Taking strategy seriously: responsibility and reform for an important social practice. Journal of Management Inquiry, 12(4), 396-409. https://doi.org/10.1177/1056492603258968